Snow in lights

From Saturday to Sunday: Temperature falls 59 degrees in county

As Christmas Day approaches, the outlook for snow on the ground for the holiday in Union County and the rest of the region looks pretty slim.

The forecast posted early this week on the website for the National Weather Service office in Paducah was calling for a chance of showers, along with a high temperature near 59 degrees, on Christmas Day, which is Sunday, Dec. 25.

The outlook for mild weather comes as winter “officially” began on Wednesday, Dec. 21.

Union County residents experienced mild temperatures last weekend, with high temperatures in the 60s recorded on Saturday.

Those mild readings ended abruptly during the course of the day and into Saturday night and Sunday morning, when temperatures plunged into the teens and single digits as a strong cold front swept through the region.

“Roller Coaster Ride of Temperatures”

The weather service reported that the region experienced “a roller coaster ride of temperatures” during the period from Dec. 17 through Dec. 19.

High temperatures on Saturday exceeded 70 degrees in many locations in Southern Illinois, Southeast Missouri and Western Kentucky.

The high temperature on Saturday in Union County was 68 degrees.

By Sunday morning, the low temperature had dropped all the way into single digits.

The low on Sunday in Union County was 9 degrees. The mercury dropped to 7 degrees on Monday and 9 degrees on Tuesday.

During the period from Friday through Monday, temperatures in the region changed from 55 to 65 degrees.“This is one of our largest temperature drops on record,” the weather service reported.

In Union County, the temperature changed 59 degrees between Saturday and Sunday morning.

The weather service reported that in looking back on records since 1938, a 59-degree change in the temperature in Paducah from Saturday afternoon through late Sunday evening was tied for the second largest drop from one calendar day to the next.

Only a 61-degree drop recorded on Jan. 25-26, 1943, was greater.

The weather service issued a winter weather advisory for the region, which was in effect from 6 p.m. Saturday through 6 a.m. Sunday. The area saw rain, freezing rain and light snow during the night.

After bitter cold on Sunday and Monday and early Tuesday morning, temperatures began to moderate. 

White Christmas Not Likely

With mild temperatures likely by this weekend, a white Christmas doesn’t look likely for the area.

Records show that measurable Christmas Day snowfall has occurred on three occasions, or 4 percent of all of the years on record, with the most recent in 1992.

There have been eight years, or 12 percent of all of those on record, which were classified as a white Christmas – when there  was snow depth of 1 inch or greater. The last time was in 2010, with 3 inches of snow on the ground.

The most snow on the ground on Christmas Day was 9 inches, measured in 2004.

High temperatures on Christmas Day in the region generally are in the 30s and 40s.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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